Dear Awty Family and Friends:
I am honored to serve The Awty International School as Chair of the Board of Trustees and am proud to share a few highlights of what the school accomplished last academic year. The 2017-2018 academic and fiscal year began with the opening of our new 74,000 square foot Early Learning Campus (ELC), the launch of our new website, and an inspection visit for reaccreditation from the French Ministry of Education. The year concluded with a successful reaccreditation by the French Ministry, a record-breaking Awty Annual Fund, a 100% pass rate for the Class of 2018 taking the French Baccalauréat with five rare congratulations from the Academic Jury, a 97% pass rate on the International Baccalaureate, and a record enrollment set for the 2018-2019 academic year. In between, we also noted these accomplishments:
- We welcomed one new Senior Administrator, Kate Adams, as our Chief Academic Officer.
- Throughout the year, the school actively took part in a yearlong self-study in preparation for accreditation visits by two of our accrediting bodies, the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) and the Council for International Schools (CIS).
- The Board prioritized the development of a Purpose Statement for the school to compliment the school’s Mission and Vision. Over the 2017-2018 academic year, the Board wrote and adopted the following Purpose Statement:
To inspire learners through academic excellence, cultural diversity, and multilingual fluency for a life of global impact.
Thank you to all who had a role in these accomplishments!
We continued to make progress towards the three Strategic Vision goals first developed by the Board in 2014.
STRATEGIC VISION - GOAL 1:
to be one school, richly international, more fully bilingual, yet still culminating in the French Baccalauréat or International Baccalaureate.
- As part of the One School initiative, there is much greater engagement between the French and International faculty. Evidence of this includes French faculty serving as Heads of Departments and teaching classes in the International program, all faculty having a better understanding of both programs, and new employees receiving a unified onboarding experience. This increased interaction inspires more innovative one school thinking, collaboration, and faculty partnership among the two programs.
The One School initiative has opened a world of possibilities for collaboration between programs, making us stronger, more unified, and truly reflects the spirit of the Awty community.
STRATEGIC VISION - GOAL 2:
Secure the facilities and the space needed to support our students, teachers, and programs.
- As previously mentioned, the 2017-2018 year began with the opening of our Early Learning Campus, where we moved from 14,250 sq. ft. in the Kay Awty Center to 74,000 sq. ft. of teaching space at the ELC. The new campus offers separate art, physical education, and music classrooms, a library, a teaching kitchen, outdoor gardens, classroom centers designed for active learning, and room for students to run and play far more creatively. All of this provides our world-class students and faculty the facilities they deserve and makes Awty’s Early Learning program the most highly sought after in Houston.
- The move of 1st grade/CP to the ELC opened up classroom space in the Lower School and allowed for repurposing of that space including the development of a new Maker Space.
- The Kay Awty Center (former preschool) has provided additional secondary classrooms, as well as space for: a designated space for Robotics, a student-led initiative creating a meditation room, a home base for APPA Used Uniform sales, the School Store, and offices for Awty Plus.
We are delighted with the transformative impact the ELC has had on early learning. This being said, the repurposing of the Kay Awty Center and former 1st grade/CP classrooms demonstrates our need for added facilities. For this reason, the Board and administration continue to assess and refine our Campus Master Plan and our vision for future facilities.
STRATEGIC VISION - GOAL 3:
Study Houston’s demographics to assist us in determining coming needs for Awty as the leading school that makes an international life possible in our city.
Since the creation of Goal 3 in 2014, Awty has worked strategically not only to study Houston’s demographics, but also to raise Awty’s profile and position as a global leader in international education in the city, state, nation, and world. Progress towards this goal has been accomplished through:
- Strategically partnering with the Greater Houston Partnership, particularly with the Executive Women’s Partnership (EWP) and Houston Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE) divisions, the French American Chamber of Commerce (FACC), and Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HHCC);
- Welcoming Education Français Greater Houston (EFGH) to our campus. Awty’s position as the leader in French education in Houston makes us the logical home for this wonderful French language school; and
- Proactively positioning and marketing the school, as well as educating the public about Awty’s distinct position as the only French accredited school in Houston.
On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I want to share how incredibly proud we are to serve this school and wonderful community. We thank all of you for the many ways in which you support Awty including your financial commitment in both tuition and philanthropic dollars, your time and engagement as volunteers, and your positive promotion of the school when you share your Awty story with others. All of this directly benefits Awty’s teachers and students. Awty’s impact on Houston and on the world is significant and will only grow greater with our combined efforts to equip our students for a life of global impact.
Chair, Board of Trustees